Job 21; Job 22; Job 23

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Job 21

1 Job replied,
2 "Listen carefully to what I'm saying. Let that be the comfort you people give me.
3 Put up with me while I speak. After I've spoken, you can make fun of me!
4 "I'm not arguing with mere human beings. So why shouldn't I be angry and uneasy?
5 Look at me and be amazed. Put your hand over your mouth and stop talking!
6 When I think about these things, I'm terrified. My whole body trembles.
7 Why do sinful people keep on living? The older they grow, the richer they get.
8 They see their children grow up around them. They watch their family increase in number.
9 Their homes are safe. They don't have to be afraid. God isn't punishing them.
10 Every time their bulls mate, their cows become pregnant. And the calves don't die before they are born.
11 Sinful people send their children out like a flock of lambs. Their little ones dance around.
12 They sing to the music of tambourines and harps. They have a good time while flutes are being played.
13 Those who are evil spend their years living well. They go down to their graves in peace.
14 But they say to God, 'Leave us alone! We don't want to know how you want us to live.
15 Who is the Mighty One? Why should we serve him? What would we get if we prayed to him?'
16 But they aren't in control of their own success. So I don't pay any attention to the advice they give.
17 "How often are their lamps blown out? How often does trouble come on them? How often does God punish them when he's angry?
18 How often are they like dried-up seed coverings blowing in the wind? How often are they like straw swept away by a storm?
19 People say, 'God punishes a man's children for his sins.' But let him punish the man himself. Then he'll learn a lesson from it.
20 Let his own eyes see how he is destroyed. Let him drink the wine of the Mighty One's anger.
21 What does he care about the family he leaves behind? What does he care about them when his life comes to an end?
22 "Can anyone teach God anything? After all, he judges even the angels in heaven.
23 Some people die while they are still very strong. They are completely secure. They have an easy life.
24 They are well fed. Their bodies are healthy.
25 Others die while their spirits are bitter. They've never enjoyed anything good.
26 Side by side they lie in the dust of death. The worms in their graves cover all of them.
27 "I know exactly what you people are thinking. I know you are planning to do bad things to me.
28 You are saying to yourselves, 'Where is the great man's house now? Where are the tents where his evil family lived?'
29 Haven't you ever asked questions of those who travel? Haven't you paid any attention to their stories?
30 They'll tell you that sinful people are spared from the day of trouble. They'll say that those people are saved from the day when God will judge.
31 Who speaks against them for the way they act? Who pays them back for what they've done?
32 Their bodies will be carried to their graves. Guards will watch over their tombs.
33 The soil in the valley will be pleasant to those who have died. Many people will walk along behind their bodies. Many others will walk in front of them.
34 "So how can you comfort me with your speeches? They don't make any sense at all. Your answers are nothing but lies!"
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Job 22

1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied,
2 "Can any man be of benefit to God? Can even a wise man be of any help to him?
3 Job, what pleasure would it give the Mighty One if you were right? What would he get if you were completely honest?
4 "You say you have respect for him. Is that why he corrects you? Is that why he brings charges against you?
5 Haven't you done many evil things? Don't you sin again and again?
6 You took clothes away from your relatives just because they owed you some money. You left them naked for no reason at all.
7 You didn't give any water to people who were tired. You held food back from those who were hungry.
8 You did it even though you were honored and powerful. You owned land and lived on it.
9 But you sent widows away without anything. You mistreated children whose fathers had died.
10 That's why traps have been set all around you. That's why sudden danger terrifies you.
11 That's why it's so dark you can't even see. That's why a flood covers you up.
12 "Isn't God in the highest parts of heaven? See how high the highest stars are!
13 But you still say, 'What does God know? Can he see through the darkest clouds to judge us?
14 He goes around in the highest heavens. Thick clouds keep him from seeing us.'
15 Will you stay on the old path that sinful people have walked on?
16 They were carried off even before they died. Their foundations were washed away by a flood.
17 They said to God, 'Leave us alone! What can you do to us, you Mighty One?'
18 But he was the one who filled their houses with good things. So I don't pay any attention to the advice they give.
19 "Those who do what is right are joyful when they see sinners destroyed. Those who haven't done anything wrong make fun of them.
20 They say, 'Our enemies are completely destroyed. Fire has burned up their wealth.'
21 "Job, obey God and be at peace with him. Then he will help you succeed.
22 Do what he teaches you to do. Keep his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Mighty One, you will have what you had before. But first you must remove everything that is evil far from your tent.
24 You must throw your gold nuggets away. You must toss your gold from Ophir into a valley.
25 Then the Mighty One himself will be your gold. He'll be like the finest silver to you.
26 You will find delight in the Mighty One. You will honor God and trust in him.
27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you. You will keep the promises you made to him.
28 What you decide to do will be done. Light will shine on the path you take.
29 When people are brought low you will say, 'Lift them up!' Then God will help them.
30 He'll even save those who are guilty. He'll save them because your hands are clean."
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Job 23

1 Job replied,
2 "Even today my problems are more than I can handle. In spite of my groans, God's hand is heavy on me.
3 I wish I knew where I could find him! I wish I could go to the place where he lives!
4 I would state my case to him. I'd give him all of my arguments
5 I'd find out what his answers would be. I'd think about what he would say.
6 Would he oppose me with his great power? No. He wouldn't bring charges against me.
7 I'm an honest person. I could state my case to him. Then my Judge would tell me once and for all that I'm not guilty.
8 "But if I go to the east, God isn't there. If I go to the west, I don't find him.
9 When he's working in the north, I don't see him there. When he turns to the south, I don't see him there either.
10 But he knows every step I take. When he has put me to the test, I'll come out as pure as gold.
11 My feet have closely followed his steps. I've stayed on his path without turning away.
12 I haven't disobeyed his commands. I've treasured his words more than my daily bread.
13 "But he's the only God. Who can oppose him? He does anything he wants to do.
14 He carries out his plans against me. And he still has many other plans just like them
15 That's why I'm so terrified. When I think about all of this, I'm afraid of him.
16 God has made my heart weak. The Mighty One has filled me with terror.
17 But even the darkness of death won't make me silent. When the darkness of the grave covers my face, I won't be quiet.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.